By Pastor Rob Bloss
I remember my basketball coach asking me before the start of my senior year if I was ALL IN. He was a former Army Green Beret and a student of Bobby Knight, the legendary, and yet often controversial, coach at Indiana University. And like his mentor, he was tough and demanded more than we thought we could give.
Our team was loaded with big men. This was before the advent of the 3-point line, and it was clear that my role, even as a shooting guard, was to get the ball inside. By “ALL IN”, Coach was asking if I was willing to give my all for the team, to sacrifice myself and my stats for a greater cause.
This week we launch a 3-week sermon series entitled, “ALL IN”. We’re going to go deep on three essential mandates that Christ charged every church, and each of His followers, to pursue with abandon: Discipleship, Evangelism and Worship.
When Jesus walked this earth – He expected every person that followed Him to take it seriously. He made it clear that He wasn’t interested in attracting a big crowd – just so He could brag on the numbers. Jesus wanted to transform people into sold-out, radically committed disciples. He was asking, inviting, challenging people to go all in.
Matthew 16:24 – “...‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’”
There are many instances where Jesus asked for a commitment clearly and confidently. He was not at all reluctant to ask men and women to drop everything and follow Him. It is an interesting phenomenon that, often, the greater the commitment you request, the greater response you will get. That’s been true in my life, both when I’ve done the asking and when I’ve been asked. I truly want to be committed to something that gives life true meaning. I want to be committed to something that is real and consistent, to a cause greater than myself.
And, in Christ, we have that! We have a cause greater than ourselves, a purpose worth pursuing with passion no matter the sacrifice. Our whole goal is to lead people to fall in love with God. Not to make them better people or better Christians, but to help them to better know the awesome power and intimacy of God’s love, a love that will radically change their hearts and lives for all of time and eternity!
Jesus can be tough, often demanding far more than we can possibly give. In fact, He wants it all – our heart, soul, strength and mind. But try and tell me isn’t worth it! And so, for His glory, my growth and the good of others, I’m in.
What about you?
Starting this weekend, you can pick up new brochures for Groups, Student’s and Children’s programs that will kick off next month. You can also grab a new Overview brochure, and the following week, a brochure with information on Missions, both global and local. You’ll also have the opportunity to fill out an ALL IN Card. We want to challenge you to make or renew a commitment to grow as a disciple and disciple-maker, to get connected to a small group and to find a place, one that uniquely fits the way God has shaped you, to serve at Covenant.
I also want to invite you to attend the Volunteer and Leader Rally on August 25 from 6:30–8:30pm. This is a significant church-wide event that I promise will inspire, encourage and equip you. We’ll be breaking out into various departments and have a chance to take a look at the new building. You can register here.